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Sports

    Jimmy Butler knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired in overtime, and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame a career-high 60 points from Kemba Walker to beat the Charlotte Hornets 122-119 on Saturday night. Butler's play in the final seconds was the difference. He blocked Walker's shot and saved the ball to a teammate with 15 seconds left, setting the stage for his winning jumper from the top of the key over Dwayne Bacon. Joel Embiid finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds and Ben Simmons had 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the 76ers defeated the Hornets for the third time this season. Butler had 15 points in his third game with his new team. Walker's 60 points were the most in the NBA this season, topping Klay Thompson's 52 against Chicago on Oct. 29. Walker finished 21 of 34 from the field and had six 3-pointers. He made all 12 foul shots and had seven rebounds and four assists. Walker had 37 and 30 points in his previous two games against the 76ers, but only shot a combined 33 percent. This time he was making everything, including banking in a 3-pointer to give the Hornets the lead with 44 seconds left in regulation. Walker held up his palms after the ball went it, similar to that famous gesture by Hornets owner Michael Jordan many years ago with the Bulls. Embiid has feasted on the Hornets this season, with 42 points and 18 rebounds and 27 points and 15 rebounds in his previous two games. JJ Redick finished with 23 points for Philadelphia, including two key jumpers in overtime. TIP-INS 76ers: Simmons threw an alley-oop pass to a breaking Butler from three-quarters court. Hornets: Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry were among those on hand as Charlotte celebrated its recently selected 30th anniversary team. ... Nic Batum, who has struggled of late, was booed by the home crowd after an airball in the third quarter. He didn't score in the game and only played two minutes in the second half. ... James Borrego picked up his first technical foul as Hornets coach. ... Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller fouled out. UP NEXT 76ers: Host the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Hornets: Host the Boston Celtics on Monday night. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Less than two years ago, Clay Helton left the Rose Bowl field in triumph after leading Southern California past Penn State in one of the most thrilling bowl games ever played. The Trojans' head coach left the same field Saturday by walking underneath a red-lettered sign reading 'HELTON OUT. TIME FOR CHANGE.' Helton still had his job as he left Pasadena following USC's 34-27 loss to struggling UCLA, the fourth loss in five games overall for the Trojans (5-6, 4-5 Pac-12). But disgruntled USC supporters chanted for his firing during the game, and more fans shouted insults at him while he walked up the tunnel to a somber locker room. The coach spoke in the locker room with athletic director Lynn Swann, and Helton said he got no indication a coaching change is imminent at the West Coast's premier program. 'He just hugged my neck in there and said, 'Coach, see you Monday,'' Helton said. 'Look forward to it.'' Helton has repeatedly said he doesn't expect to lose his job this season, and Swann has backed him in public. But just two seasons after that Rose Bowl triumph, and just one season after a Pac-12 title capped the best two-year stretch to start a coaching tenure in USC history, even the folksy Texan realizes his job security looks tenuous from the outside. 'It doesn't bother me,' Helton said of the vociferous boos and taunts from USC's fans at the Rose Bowl. 'My main heartbreak is for our seniors, because I wanted it for them. I know the job. The job is if you win, people are going to pat you on the back, and if you lose, you know they're going to get after you. If you don't like it, don't be in this profession. I know it. It rolls off my back, so I'm not worried about it.' With its season in tatters, USC would have to upset unbeaten Notre Dame next weekend just to become bowl-eligible. The Trojans haven't had a seven-loss regular season since 2000, coach Paul Hackett's final year before Pete Carroll took over and started a renaissance. Helton expects to be on the sideline to face the Fighting Irish. 'I live just like I told you: I work my butt off every 24 hours to try to buy another 24,' Helton said. 'If you work as hard as you can and do the best job you can for your kids and for the university you love, you have no regrets, and I don't. I'll continue to work as hard as humanly possible. I've got great support from USC, from Lynn Swann and from these kids, and I owe it to them to work as hard as I can for them.' Just 9 1/2 months ago, Helton received a contract extension through the 2023 season. The deal from Swann was a reward for winning a school-record 21 games in his first two seasons, including that epic Rose Bowl triumph and the Trojans' first Pac-12 title since 2008. USC's loss to the rival Bruins was the most damaging blow yet to the longtime offensive assistant who took over a team engulfed in turmoil midway through the 2015 season and eventually led it to remarkable heights, only to see it all crash down in the past three months. The Trojans were terrible offensively in early-season losses to Texas and Stanford before their current 1-4 skid. Even his detractors must admit Helton has given stability to a turbulent program and provided adult leadership at a school sorely lacking it in recent years. But while the Trojans were winning big over the past two years, a large segment of USC fans still never bought into Helton, who had never been a head coach before replacing Steve Sarkisian. They critiqued his offensive imagination, his choice of assistants and even the incongruity of his Southern style in the heart of California. As the losses pile up, the boos have only grown louder at a school trying to sell tickets and suites at the renovated Coliseum next season. Many fans point out that Helton's Trojans have largely struggled whenever Sam Darnold wasn't Helton's quarterback, and freshman passer J.T. Daniels had another rough game at the Rose Bowl, going 20 of 34 for 337 yards and two costly interceptions. Daniels, the nation's top prep quarterback last season, gave impassioned postgame support for the coach who recruited him out of Orange County. 'Nobody wants to see him go,' Daniels said. 'Everybody here that knows him loves him. If you blame Clay Helton for that loss, then you have no idea what football is. There's things that players aren't executing, and that's it. The players' part of the ballgame is to make the plays. We have the opportunity.' ___ More AP college football: www.apnews.com/CollegeFootball and www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • First, it was Loyola. Next came Villanova. One by one, Furman is picking off teams from last year's Final Four and proving to be the surprise story of the first month of the college basketball season. Jordan Lyons scored 17 points, Matt Rafferty had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Furman stunned the defending national champion and eighth-ranked Wildcats in overtime, 76-68 on Saturday. 'We're just tiny old Furman,' coach Bob Richey said. 'Most people ask us what state we're in, what city we're in. Now all of a sudden people are starting to figure out who Furman is.' If opponents and fans aren't paying attention to the team from Greenville, South Carolina, they'd better start now. Clay Mounce added 15 points and Noah Gurley and Alex Hunter scored 13 apiece for the surging Paladins, who have started 5-0 for the first time in 30 years. Lyons and Rafferty delivered huge buckets in overtime to key a 7-0 spurt that put the Paladins ahead 69-63 in the final minute, enough cushion for them to hang on for the victory in front of a shocked sellout crowd at the recently renovated Finneran Pavilion. 'It almost can bring me to tears to think about how proud I am of the resolve, the resiliency and the fight this team has,' Richey said. 'They play together, they play connected. It's the definition of a team.' Phil Booth scored 20 points and Colin Gillespie had 19 for the Wildcats (2-2), who were coming off a 27-point loss to Michigan in a rematch of April's national championship game. It marked the first time Villanova lost back-to-back games since March of 2013. 'It's not that shocking, to be honest,' Booth said. 'They're a very good team. We're still a young team trying to find our way.' Trailing 58-53 with under four minutes to play in regulation, Joe Cremo hit a 3-pointer, Booth scored and Gillespie made a layup in transition to put Villanova in front, 60-58, in the final minute. After Lyons hit two free throws to tie the game at 60, Booth missed on the other end and Hunter misfired on a long 3-pointer in the final seconds. Cremo was called for a foul while going for the rebound, but Rafferty couldn't connect on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2.6 seconds left, setting the game up for OT. Rafferty said his teammates picked him up and told him to make up for the missed free throw in overtime — which he did. 'This was incredible,' Rafferty said. 'I've never been a part of something like this.' ROAR OF THE LYONS Two days after pouring in 54 points while matching an NCAA record with 15 3-pointers in a 107-67 win over North Greenville, Lyons had more big buckets, including one that put Furman ahead 48-46 with a little over eight minutes remaining. Richey was proud of how the junior guard dealt with 'Nova's defense, especially after he was held to five points in the first half. 'He was mature enough to know he had to play within our team concept,' Richey said. 'He got going in the second half. I was really proud of him.' CHEMISTRY ISSUES Although he put his team on his back at times, scoring five straight points during one stretch to tie the game at 51, Booth shouldered a lot of the blame for the loss. 'I have to do a better job of showing the team what Villanova basketball is on both ends of the floor,' said Booth, a senior guard who was a part of the Wildcats' national championship teams in both 2016 and 2018. 'We're trying to work on a lot of chemistry things as a team,' he added. BIG PICTURE Furman: It's only November, but the Paladins are looking like a team that will be dangerous in March. In their only other road game of the season, they upset last season's NCAA Tournament darling, Loyola-Chicago, on a last-second dunk. Villanova: After losing four players from last year's national championship squad to the NBA draft, coach Jay Wright continues to search for his best rotation. On Saturday, freshman Jahvon Quinerly, a five-star recruit, didn't get in the game after playing key minutes in Villanova's first three games. The Wildcats' depth also took a hit Friday when the team announced that redshirt sophomore Dylan Painter will transfer. 'You always want to get the young guys in,' Wright said. 'It was close and then we got down the stretch and you try to ride it out with the older guys and hope you can get through the game.' UP NEXT Furman hosts Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday. Villanova faces Canisius in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando on Thanksgiving. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius was nearly flawless against Oklahoma last week, only to misfire on a 2-point conversion pass to Tylan Wallace in a one-point loss. On Saturday, the connection worked. Cornelius threw a touchdown pass to Wallace with 42 seconds remaining and Oklahoma State beat No. 7 West Virginia 45-41. The low-key Cornelius didn't show how disappointed he was in the way the Oklahoma game ended, but coach Mike Gundy had an idea how his redshirt senior felt. 'You could never see it, but you would think that inside it just tore him to pieces,' Gundy said. In his final home game, Cornelius passed for 338 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 106 yards and another score to help Oklahoma State (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) become bowl eligible. 'For him to be able to finish this way is a big deal,' Gundy said. Down 31-14 at the half, the Cowboys won despite leading rusher Justice Hill sitting out with a rib injury. 'Our coaches made tremendous adjustments at halftime,' Gundy said. 'I couldn't be prouder of them.' Chuba Hubbard rushed for a career-high 134 yards for Oklahoma State, and Dillon Stoner caught nine passes for a career-best 127 yards. Grier passed 364 yards and two touchdowns, but his Heisman campaign took a hit with the loss. Kennedy McKoy rushed for a career-high 148 yards for the Mountaineers. West Virginia (8-2, 6-2, No. 9 CFP) faces Oklahoma next Friday and still has a shot at reaching the Big 12 title game. Grier's 6-yard touchdown run on fourth down in the fourth quarter gave West Virginia a 41-31 lead, but Cornelius' 9-yard touchdown run and a stop by Oklahoma State's defense put the Cowboys in position to win. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen felt his team should have been in a better position late. 'I think we left probably 14 points out there,' he said. 'When you are in the red zone and can't punch it in — if you are a great offense, you do that.' It's the first time Oklahoma State has beaten Top 10 teams in back-to-back home games — the Cowboys knocked off Texas on Oct. 27. In between, the Cowboys lost 35-31 at Baylor and 48-47 at Oklahoma. 'They have been in a lot of these games, and you can tell they had a little bit better mindset down the stretch than we did,' Holgorsen said. 'It's disappointing that we had a chance to close them out and we didn't.' THE TAKEAWAY West Virginia: The Mountaineers wasted a major opportunity and now don't have quite as much to play for against Oklahoma. Oklahoma State: Cornelius made up for two interceptions earlier in the game with a strong fourth quarter. QUOTABLE Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, on Cornelius: 'If you can't respect the way that young man's played and how he's bounced back and how he's played against really good defenses — who's played better than him against the top defenses in this league?' STAT LINES Cornelius has completed 64 of 99 passes for 839 yards and eight touchdowns his past two games. POLL IMPLICATIONS West Virginia will likely drop out of the Top 10 after the loss. UP NEXT West Virginia hosts No. 6 Oklahoma on Friday. Oklahoma State plays at TCU on Saturday. ___ Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • The band was an Aaron Judge moon shot away from the field, way up in the right-field bleachers of Yankee Stadium. Still, the Fighting Irish lined up in the end zone/outfield and sang the alma mater — just as they would have at Notre Dame Stadium — after dispatching No. 12 Syracuse and putting themselves a step away from the College Football Playoff. Ian Book returned to the starting lineup for No. 3 Notre Dame and threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns as the Fighting Irish routed the Orange 36-3 on Saturday to stay unbeaten. The Irish will head West next week to face struggling rival Southern California, with a spot in the playoff in their grasp. 'I don't know that if we win our last game that we're going to the playoffs, but that's not in our control,' coach Brian Kelly said. 'What we can control is how we prepare. If we do a good job there and win our game then we would have won all our games and we'll let people decide who should go to the playoffs.' Notre Dame held out Book from last week's home game against Florida State with a rib injury. He wasn't missed as the Irish (11-0, No. 3 CFP) rolled with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback. They clearly wanted to be cautious with Book ahead of their trip to the Bronx to face high-scoring Syracuse (8-3, No. 12 CFP), averaging 44 points per game. Book, the junior quarterback who took over as the starter four games into the season, looked good as new. 'The ribs feel good,' Book said. 'Wasn't even thinking about them during the game.' Donning pinstripe uniforms in a tribute to the usual residents of the ballpark, Notre Dame went up 7-0 on its second possession on a 9-yard pass from Book to Dexter Williams. The Subway Alumni, along with the bridge and tunnel crowd, packed Yankee Stadium on a 45-degree day in the Bronx. The sellout crowd was announced at 48,104. That the Fighting Irish were playing such an important game away from South Bend, Indiana, did not sit well with most of their fans. Even Kelly said it was not ideal. Part of the Shamrock Series, the off-site 'home' games Notre Dame plays almost annually, the Irish's second trip to the new Yankee Stadium had been in the works for several years. Adding to the anxiety of playing a Syracuse team having its best season in more than a decade was Notre Dame's unusual stretch schedule. Notre Dame has played only one home game since mid-October and the trip to USC will be its second to the West Coast in five weeks. Turns out, there was nothing to worry about in New York. The most significant college football game at Yankee Stadium since No. 1 Army and No. 2 Notre Dame played a 0-0 tie in 1946 was no Game of the Century. 'We've played in California, Chicago and New York,' Book said. 'I think it's awesome. I think it's great experiences for us. We might have to fly a little bit more than other teams but I don't think it hurts anyone.' THE TAKEAWAY Syracuse: The Orange played most of the game without starting quarterback Eric Dungey, who left in the first quarter with what the school said was an upper-body injury. Coach Dino Babers said they would know more about Dungey's condition when he was examined upon return to Syracuse. Tommy DeVito, who came off the bench earlier this season to relieve Dungey against North Carolina and lead the Orange to an overtime victory, stepped in but looked overmatched. The redshirt freshman was sacked six times and picked off twice. Notre Dame: Only a field goal with 10 seconds left denied the Irish their first shutout since Sept. 6, 2014, when they beat Michigan 31-0 in South Bend. SCOUTING REPORT Syracuse has played both No. 2 Clemson and Notre Dame this season, losing a close game in Death Valley. 'I will tell you this: Notre Dame is better than what people think they are,' Babers said. 'That's a really, really good football team. All I'll say is this: Clemson is extremely talented. So I think there's no doubt those two teams are in the top four in the country.' BATTER UP Notre Dame improved 17-6-3 all-time at Yankee Stadium, including 3-0 at the newest version since Kelly took over. UP NEXT Syracuse: Finishes the regular season at No. 22 Boston College. Notre Dame: The Irish have not won at USC since 2012, when the victory locked up a spot in the BCS championship game. ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Relentlessly zipping up and down the field, ninth-ranked Ohio State and upstart Maryland were racking up yards and points at a dizzying pace. Finally, the Terrapins were presented with the chance to end it — one way or another. A gutsy decision by Maryland interim coach Matt Canada did not achieve the desired results, and the Buckeyes avoided one of the most stunning upsets in this college football season by squeezing out a 52-51 victory in overtime on Saturday. After a 5-yard touchdown run by Dwayne Haskins gave the Buckeyes a seven-point lead to start overtime, Tayon Fleet-Davis scored for the Terrapins. Canada opted to keep his offense on the field to attempt a 2-point conversion, and Tyrrell Pigrome's pass to Jeshaun Jones was off target . 'It was a gut call,' Canada said. 'I felt like they were scoring, we were scoring. We had the ball, we had to make one play to win. Obviously it didn't work. I wasn't trying to be aggressive. I was just trying to win.' After watching his defense allow 535 yards and seven touchdowns, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer understood why Canada opted to win it right there. 'I would have probably done the same thing if I was their coach, the way they were gaining yards on us,' Meyer said. 'I'm relieved we won.' Favored by 14½ points, Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) trailed by two touchdowns in the third quarter and 45-38 with under two minutes left before rallying. The victory kept the Buckeyes in the hunt for the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State concludes the regular season next week in a game against Michigan that will decide the Big Ten East winner. After describing the performance of his defense as 'alarming,' Meyer said, 'But we won. Let's go back to work and get ready for next week.' The Buckeyes never led until overtime against the gritty Terrapins (5-6, 3-5), who have made the most of a season dedicated to teammate Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke in June. The players teamed together under the guidance of Canada, who maintained his role of offensive coordinator after taking over for head coach DJ Durkin, who was placed on administrative leave in August, reinstated on Oct. 30 and fired on Oct. 31. On this day, the Terps traded blows with one of the best teams in the nation, and stuck in it to the end. 'I wish we had been a little bit better on the last play,' Canada said. 'It's a tough day. We put a lot into this.' Pigrome was making his first start of the season after Kasim Hill sustained a season-ending knee injury last week. He went 6 for 13 for 181 yards. Haskins ran for three touchdowns and was 28 for 38 for 405 yards and three TDs. Ohio State finished with a whopping 688 yards, including 203 on the ground by J.K. Dobbins. All that offense meant nothing until Pigrome's pass went about six inches wide of his intended target. 'For us to stop them on a 2-point conversion, a whole bunch of emotions just came out of me,' Haskins said. 'All that grit, all that adversity we faced in this game, to come back on top just meant everything for myself and my teammates.' Maryland freshman Anthony McFarland had touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards in the first quarter and finished with 298 yards rushing — seven short of the school's single-game record. The Terps took a 45-38 lead when Chigoziem Okonkwo recovered a fumble by McFarland in the end zone with 1:41 left. Haskins then orchestrated a 50-yard, beat-the-clock drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victory with 40 seconds remaining. THE TAKEAWAY Ohio State: It goes without saying that the Buckeyes must play much, much better next week to beat Michigan. The offense had no trouble moving the ball, but three turnovers proved costly. The defense, needless to say, was awful. Maryland: Despite putting forth a great effort against a Top-10 team on Senior Day, the Terrapins still can't seem to get the offense and defense working in sync. Last week, four turnovers were too much to overcome in a loss to Indiana. In this game, the defense couldn't back a strong outing by a big-play offense. PERFECT NO MORE The Terrapins had scored on all 25 trips to the red zone this season, and Maryland freshman Joseph Petrino was the only kicker in the nation without a miss on a field-goal try (10 for 10) before both streaks ended in the second quarter. After reaching the Ohio State 18, the Terrapins lost ground before Petrino misfired on a 49-yard attempt. UP NEXT Ohio State: The stakes couldn't be much bigger when the Buckeyes look to beat Michigan for a seventh straight time next week. Maryland: With one last chance to become bowl eligible, the Terrapins travel to Penn State next Saturday. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Two quick birdies and Charles Howell III was five shots ahead. Four hours later, he was reminded why winning never comes easily, especially for someone who has gone more than 11 years and 332 starts since his last victory. Howell didn't make enough birdies Saturday to do much of anything except post a 2-under 68 and keep his name atop the leaderboard at the RSM Classic, even if only by one shot over PGA Tour rookie Cameron Champ and part-time insurance salesman Jason Gore. 'I have a chance to win the tournament, and I'd have taken that Thursday morning,' Howell said. He was at 16-under 194. Champ ran off four straight birdies around the turn and shot 4-under 66. A winner at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi last month, this is the 12th time in his last 15 rounds Champ has been in the top 10. Gore, who only a few weeks ago became certified to sell insurance in California, overcame a missed tap-in at the turn with three birdies and an 18-foot eagle putt over his next six holes and shot 66. Any three of them holding the trophy Sunday would be an ideal way for the PGA Tour to end the calendar year. Champ gets attention with his sheer power. His club head speed (nearly 130 mph) and ball speed (just over 192 mph) are numbers not seen on the PGA Tour, and he is going for his second victory in five starts as a rookie. 'I'm rolling the ball the best I ever had, and I'm also hitting quality shots,' Champ said. 'So I know I'm going to have enough looks throughout the round.' Gore only received a sponsor exemption Sunday evening when he was headed to Pebble Beach for an unofficial event. The 44-year-old had to think about accepting it because he hasn't played in three months, and he hasn't played the weekend on the PGA Tour since July 2017. Being away from golf makes it fun. He steps up to the ball and hits the shot, just like playing with clients. Being in the hunt is hard to believe. What will Sunday bring? 'I don't really care, to be honest with you,' Gore said. 'What am I going to do tomorrow? I'm going to show up. I'm going to put the tee in the ground and I'm going to hit it. I wish I could give you some profound answer, but that's really all I've got. It's not going to change my life. Well, it could change my life, but I'm not going to look at it that way, how about that?' The winner gets an invitation to the Masters, especially meaningful to Howell, who grew up in Augusta. His last victory was at Riviera in 2007, and the last time Howell had at least a share of the 54-hole lead was 10 years ago at Turning Stone, a tournament that no longer exists. Howell has not won in any of his previous five times atop the leaderboard going into the final round. Webb Simpson had a 63 and was two shots behind, along with Ryan Blaum (65). Ten players are within five shots of the lead, a list that includes Sea Island resident Zach Johnson, who had a 65. That was the size of Howell's lead over the field when he had two birdies through three holes, and even after his first bogey of the tournament when he went just over the back of the green at No. 4. But he recovered with a pair of birdies, made the turn in 32 and had a four-shot lead over Champ. And then it was steady golf the rest of the way as Champ and Gore, along with Simpson and others, closed the gap. 'I didn't finish off with much of anything,' Howell said. 'I knew the guys would make birdies and close the gap if I didn't get going, and that's what happened.' He was asked whose place he would take in the final group, a 23-year-old rookie who won a month ago or a 44-year-old who considers himself a part-time player. 'I'll be a disgruntled 39-year-old right in the middle,' Howell said with a laugh. It was hard for him not to be impressed with Champ, who mainly hit his strong 3-iron off the tee and continued to show poise for his limited experience. 'I've never seen an iron hit as hard as he hits it. Holy cow,' Howell said. 'I played a lot of golf with Tiger from 2000 through '08. I've not seen a guy hit a golf ball this hard ever that played professional golf. This guy's got a hell of a future.' ___ More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Lexi Thompson has control of the CME Group Tour Championship, and Ariya Jutanugarn is in control of just about everything else. Thompson's 4-under 68 on Saturday pushed her to 16 under after three rounds of the LPGA's season-ending event. She moved three shots clear of Nelly Korda and six ahead of Carlota Ciganda at Tiburon Golf Club. Korda shot her second consecutive 67 to get to 13 under, and Ciganda grinded out a 69 to get to 10 under for the week. Thompson has been nearly flawless this week. Her only dropped shot of the tournament came Saturday when she made bogey at the par-4 fourth hole, then put together five birdies over the rest of her round. 'Golf is all about momentum,' Thompson said. Right now, she has an abundance of that going for her. For the week, she has 14 birdies, one eagle and the one bogey. She's been calm and collected with her newly purchased Havanese Poodle around this week, finding a rhythm with an old putter and having her brother Curtis as her caddie. 'I just tried to keep the same attitude as I did the last two days,' Thompson said. 'Curtis kept me nice and relaxed. He's always cracking jokes out there. It's been a nice relaxing week just having him on the bag and having all my family and friends out here supporting me.' If Thompson hangs on Sunday, she'll have her first win of the season. If Jutanugarn keeps things together, she'll leave with plenty of prizes as well. Jutanugarn will start her final round 10 shots back but leading the projected Race to the CME Globe standings and in position to claim the $1 million bonus for winning the LPGA's season-long points race — which would be her second in three years. Jutanugarn already has clinched player of the year and is nearly mathematically assured of winning the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average on tour. 'I did a pretty good job. I didn't think about that at all,' Jutanugarn said of the Globe race and what's at stake this weekend. 'Yesterday I (thought) about that too much, worrying about that.' The Vare Trophy isn't hers yet, but it would take the most improbable of outcomes for that to slip away from Jutanugarn in the final round of the season. The two closest players to Jutanugarn in the season scoring standings are Minjee Lee and Jin Young Ko; either of them would have to beat the world's No. 1 player by about 30 strokes on Sunday to pass her in the Vare race. Korda had an eventful day with more birdies than pars — 8-7 — but with three bogeys as well. So Yeon Ru (69 for the third straight day) and Marina Alex (71) are tied for fourth at 9 under, and Lydia Ko shot a bogey-free 68 on Saturday to move into a tie for sixth at 8 under with Brittany Lincicome (73). First-round leader Amy Olson made three double-bogeys on her way to a 76, leaving her in a tie for 16th and 11 shots off Thompson's lead.
  • Joe Gibbs issued a team order on the eve of NASCAR's championship that gave Kyle Busch an edge over the other three title contenders. Busch was gifted the coveted No. 1 pit stall Saturday when Joe Gibbs Racing made the dubious decision to force teammate and pole winner Denny Hamlin to pass on the top spot. Busch qualified second and grabbed the favorable pit stall after Hamlin's team yielded to Gibbs' demand. 'It's an advantage for them, which stinks for us,' reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. said. Busch will take any perk he can when he races Truex, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick for the title Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 'Ultimately, it's an upper-management decision, and that's part of it. I understand,' Hamlin said. 'Sat down with Joe quite a bit. He came over pretty fast to talk to me. I could see the other side of it. If the roles were reversed, I think we would hope for the same thing.' Busch should have an advantage because the stall in question is located at the end of pit road and gives drivers a clear exit path and cleaner shot back onto the track. The short exit distance also lessens the concern of a speeding penalty. 'It's great to have the No. 1 pit stall for the race and I appreciate the teamwork by the guys on the 11,' Busch said. 'Coach and everyone at JGR are focused on doing what they can to bring a championship for the company.' Team owner Tony Stewart, who fields Harvick's No. 4 Ford, lauded JGR's call. 'Smart decision,' he said. 'If we were in the same position, I would hope we'd be smart enough to do the same thing. I've already seen all the drama and people complaining. These four teams are here to win a championship. If your organization can help you do that and give you every tool available to get that done, you're stupid to not do it. I'm behind what JGR did 100 percent.' Hamlin, who is winless this season, and crew chief Mike Wheeler had the traditional first choice of pit stalls because Hamlin posted the fastest qualifying lap. Hamlin also won the pole a year ago but denied Truex's request for the pit stall. Truex, a Toyota partner of Hamlin's but not an official teammate, went on to win the race anyway. 'Hopefully, it all just comes back full circle. Maybe I'll even get a thank you text,' Hamlin said. Gibbs, the Super Bowl and NASCAR champion, said he made the call this time. 'Anything like this always stops with me,' Gibbs said. Hamlin said both he and Gibbs spoke to officials from FedEx and the sponsor understood the decision for JGR to show favoritism. But he worried that helping Busch for one race may have made the practice acceptable. 'The problem is, from my standpoint is it probably will set a precedent going forward,' Hamlin said. 'It probably will be a manufacturer thing more so than a teammate. I hate it, too, because I denied Martin last year. Luckily, he won the race anyway, but I just think it's a tough deal, and you've got to listen to the boss.' Busch said Friday he thought the idea would get shot down as it did for Truex, and Hamlin didn't seem eager to give up his prize. He's trying to extend a streak of winning at least one race every season since his 2006 rookie year, and Sunday marks his final race with Wheeler. Even Busch understood it was a big ask of Hamlin. 'That's probably too far, but it would sure be nice,' Busch said. Busch, the 2015 Cup champion, got what he wanted when Hamlin's team chose the No. 4 pit stall, which did not violate any NASCAR policy. But Brad Keselowski, Logano's teammate at Team Penkse, ripped JGR's decision to manipulate the process. 'Good for the company, bad for the sport,' he said. Logano has the third stall, Truex has the seventh spot and Harvick has the 39th spot. Logano swept Saturday's two practice sessions and hit 171.701 mph for the fastest lap in the second session. Busch scraped the wall in the closing minutes of the second practice and scuffed the Toyota on the rear right side. 'They all look like that at some point during the weekend. Better in practice than in the race, but it's just minor, minor damage,' crew chief Adam Stevens said. 'It's nothing we can't fix in short order.' Logano also had the best 10-consecutive lap average in the final practice (165.018), followed by Truex and Busch. Harvick was 10th overall and only averaged 163.124 over his fastest 10 laps. He starts 12th, lowest of the title contenders. 'Honestly, it really hasn't been that good,' Harvick said. ___ More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The clock ticked down to zero and the Harvard players sprinted across the Fenway field to celebrate with the student section, beyond the Pesky Pole and under the retired numbers of a century of Boston Red Sox stars. Another chapter in the history of an iconic ballpark. Another memorable moment in one of college football's oldest rivalries. Tom Stewart threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns before being wheeled off the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter, leading Harvard to a 45-27 victory over Yale on Saturday in the highest-scoring edition in the 143-year history of The Game. The Crimson ran up 578 yards in offense for their most prolific offensive day in the annals of the rivalry, which was contested off-campus for the first time since an 1894 game that was so violent the Harvard faculty voted to disband the football program. 'Initially, some of us were not as excited as we could be, because we wanted to have our last home game at the Stadium,' Harvard offensive lineman Ben Shoults said. 'But once we got a chance to walk around on the field, and we heard the fans and we got into the environment ... it was a little more than we ever could have expected to play this game that means so much to us at Fenway.' Fifty years after The Tie that was celebrated with The Crimson student newspaper headline 'Harvard Beats Yale 29-29,' the teams made a different kind of history. The 72 total points were the most ever in The Game between two of the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic powerhouses, surpassing the 33-31 Yale victory in 1993. Yale (5-5, 3-4) had beaten Harvard in back-to-back years, but the Crimson have now won 15 of the last 18 matchups. 'It was a pretty amazing opportunity to play this, just a historic game here with this incredible tradition and rivalry we have between Yale and Harvard,' Bulldogs coach Tony Reno said. 'We weren't able to continue to match points.' Stewart, a senior playing his last game, left on a stretcher after getting hit as he dropped into a slide on the temporary sod about where the Red Sox shortstop would stand. As doctors attended to him, players on both teams kneeled; Yale quarterback Griffin O'Connor made the sign of the cross. The sold-out crowd acknowledged Stewart when he was wheeled off. The school announced after the game that it was a right hip injury and Stewart was expected to make a full recovery. 'Heartbreaking for that to happen that late in the game, that late in his career,' said Harvard coach Tim Murphy, who is now 18-7 in The Game. Backup quarterback Jake Smith came in and handed off to Devin Darrington on the next play for a 16-yard touchdown that gave the Crimson (6-3, 4-3 Ivy League) a 45-27 lead. Darrington ran for 91 yards and two scores and had another negated by a taunting penalty when he wagged his finger at a defender. Tyler Adams ran for 125 yards on just five carries for Harvard, including a 62-yard touchdown in the second quarter. O'Connor completed 23 of 48 passes for 328 yards. JP Shohfi had seven catches for 127 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown reception. Reed Klubnik had five catches for 91 yards and set Yale's single-season record with 1,143 receiving yards in his career. With dozens of players from 1968 game watching, the schools traded touchdowns through most of the first three quarters — tying it at 7-7, 14-14 and 21-21 — before Yale took its first lead of the game on a field goal early in the second half. Stewart's 15-yard pass to Jack Cook gave Harvard a 28-24 lead with 5 minutes left in the third, then another Yale field goal cut the deficit to one point. In the fourth, Darrington went up the middle for a 27-yard score, but he wagged a finger as he outran a defender toward the goal line and was called for taunting. The touchdown negated, Harvard settled for a field goal. 'The bottom line is: He was wrong,' Murphy said. 'He was wrong. It's that simple. It was the right call; he was wrong. I'm just so grateful to our team that he didn't have to learn that the absolute hard way of trying to live with that for a year or however many years.' On the Crimson's next possession, Darrington again broke loose, gaining 27 yards to the 6. Two plays later, he took it in from the 4 to give Harvard a 37-27 lead. OFF TARGET Yale trailed 21-14 when O'Connor connected with Klubnik for a 48-yard gain to the 2. But Dudek was slammed down in the backfield for a loss of 6, and then a pass fell incomplete. On third down, O'Connor found Dudek at the 3 and he was immediately hit by cornerback Wesley Ogsbury, whose head snapped back on contact. The officials threw a flag for targeting, the call was confirmed on replay and Ogsbury was ejected. The teams — sharing the sideline because of the baseball stadium's configuration — began shouting at each other until coaches stepped between them. With a new set of downs, O'Connor ran it in on second down to tie the score 21-21. HALLOWED TURF The band played 'Sweet Caroline' early in the fourth quarter in keeping with Red Sox tradition at Fenway, which has hosted college football periodically since it opened in 1912. It was also the home of the American Football League's Boston Patriots in the 1960s; it has recently hosted Boston College games against Notre Dame and UConn. The field barely fit inside the ballpark, even with the bullpens removed. Both teams shared the sideline on the Green Monster side of the field; the scoreboard on the wall was repurposed, with the innings replaced by quarters. Members of the grounds crew were patching divots in the turf during most breaks, and a chunk came up on Stewart's slide. UP NEXT The Ivy League season is over, and the schools do not play in the FCS postseason. The Fenway field will be scrubbed of the football markings for an Irish hurling tournament, the Fenway Hurling Classic. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25